History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People
Americans lived along the Nanticoke, Patuxent, and Susquehanna Rivers
when European explorers arrived.
The Spanish were the first to see Maryland in the 1500s.
In 1608, John Smith of Virginia sailed northward up Chesapeake
Bay into Maryland.
In 1631, another Virginian, William Claiborne, opened a trading
post on Kent Island.
This was the first colonial settlement in Maryland.
1632, English nobleman Cecil Calvert was granted the Maryland land
Calvert believed growth and development would more easily come,
in a place where all Christians could worship how these pleased.
In 1634, colonists were sent to Maryland and founded St. Mary’s
restrictions and high taxes led to the Revolutionary War in 1775.
Marylanders opposed the Stamp Act, protested the Boston Port Bill
by burning a boat and the tea cargo, and attended the First Continental
Congress in 1774 in Philadelphia.
Baltimore served as the country’s capital until after the war
when it was moved to Annapolis.
1788, the United States Constitution was signed.
Maryland became the 7th state to join the new country,
with Annapolis as the state capital.
In 1791, Washington D.C. was created from land donated by
Maryland, and became the nation’s permanent capital.
battles from the War of 1812 were fought in Maryland.
British soldiers raided towns along the Chesapeake Bay, defeated
Americans in the Battle of Bladensburg, and burned the Capitol and other
government buildings in Washington D.C.
On Sept. 12, they attacked Baltimore and fired on Fort McHenry.
The American army defended the city and drove them out of
This battle inspired the writing of “The Star-Spangled
Civil War began in 1861.
Although many plantation owners in Maryland fought with the
Confederacy, Maryland’s legislature sided with the United States and
adopted a new constitution that ended slavery.
Again, many battles were fought on Maryland soil.
1919, Congress passed the prohibition law, prohibiting the
manufacturing, selling and transporting of alcoholic beverages.
Maryland opposed the law, because it violated their state’s
Because of this, they were known as the Free State.
World War II, Maryland improved its transportation systems.
BWI Airport opened and many bridges, tunnels, and highways were
When the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools as
unconstitutional in 1954, Maryland changed the fastest of all the
southern states by integrating schools and neighborhoods.
Several school systems were expanded.
In 1985, Maryland began a government project to clean up the waste from cities and factories flowing into Chesapeake Bay. The waste was killing many of the fish and shellfish living there. Since then, millions of oysters have been placed in the bay.